Supreme Court Battle Brewing Over Medicaid Fees

Providers and patient advocates nationwide are deeply worried about a US Supreme Court case that they say could restrict their ability across the country to seek judicial relief from low Medicaid reimbursement rates.

A Florida case is the latest effort to get federal judges to force states to increase Medicaid provider payment rates for the state and federal program that covers about 70 million low-income Americans. In the past 2 decades, similar cases have been filed in numerous states, including California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Texas and the District of Columbia—with many resulting in higher pay.

However, providers and patient advocates nationwide are deeply worried about a US Supreme Court case that they say could restrict their ability across the country to seek judicial relief from low Medicaid reimbursement rates.

The high court on January 20 will hear a case from Idaho seeking to overturn a 2011 lower court order to increase payments to providers serving Medicaid enrollees with development disabilities. In the original case, 5 centers serving developmentally disabled adults and children argued that Idaho was unfairly keeping Medicaid reimbursement rates at 2006 levels despite studies showing that the cost of providing care had risen.

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